As you read these quotes, treat them not like you would something “inspirational” that has no basis in God or his Word. These have been chosen so that we might hear from godly folks who drank deeply from God.
When we speak of a person being converted to faith in Christ Jesus or when we speak of a prodigal coming to his senses and returning to the Father, we must understand that it is God at work in converting and restoring the wayward person. God typically does this work by speaking through his word. This is the reason that preaching and teaching the Bible is a necessary activity.
Yet we must also understand that the unconverted person or the wayward person lacks the ability to hear the word of God in the depths of his soul. It matters not how loudly the preacher preaches. Conversion and restoration are dependent upon God opening the eyes, unstopping the ears, and quickening the heart.
Nearing the end of his life, Paul wrote young Timothy. Part of his instructions concerned Timothy’s sanctification or being a vessel for honorable use (2 Timothy 2:21). This sanctification would be realized by two contrasting movements. These movements move the believer away from a prodigal path and turn him down the pilgrim road.
At the 2016 National Conference of Ligonier Ministries, Michael Reeves presented The English Reformers as part of the overall theme on The Gospel. His theological and historical presentation deeply stirred my mind and heart. Below you find a written overview and the video of the 23 minutes presentation.